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Virginia Woman Recognized for Work Raising Heart-Health Awareness


Tuesday, June 7, 2022   

Heart disease is one of the most pervasive medical issues in America. One survivor said she hopes her experience can provide an important lesson on how to spot early signs of heart issues.

Megan Bucholz, clinical transformation manager for Unified Women's Healthcare and winner of the American Heart Association's 2022 Woman of Impact Award, was struggling with long-haul COVID and recovering from a pulmonary embolism in 2021, when one night her smartwatch alerted her she was experiencing an abnormal heartbeat.

She checked into the hospital, where the doctors caught the issue and put her on medication before it could progress. She hopes other women can learn from her experience.

"I really just want to encourage women to really take a good hard look at themselves," Bucholz asserted. "And make sure that they're taking care of themselves, especially their heart."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the number one cause of death among American women, causing about one out of every five female deaths in 2017.

Bucholz pointed out there are a few simple steps folks can take to maintain heart health, including a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Bucholz was in the midst of fundraising for the American Heart Association's Woman of Impact campaign when her medical event happened. She continued her work while she was recovering. At the end of the nine-week campaign, she had raised more than $20,000 to support women's heart health.

"The fundraising is really about raising awareness for heart health," Bucholz emphasized. "And I thought, 'What a great opportunity to raise awareness, as I'm actually having an event that is part of what I'm raising funds for.' "

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is a particularly pervasive issue for Black women. Nearly half of all Black women above the age of 20 have some form of heart disease, and the issue kills about 50,000 Black women annually.

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